Is this taking the Lord's name in vain?


I used to have a habit of using the Lord’s name casually and/or in vain. I have worked very hard to break this habit! Today, though, I discovered a strange red mark on my hand and, without thinking, I blurted out “G*d, what is wrong with my hand?” I meant no disrespect at all of course, and I just wasn’t thinking, the word just came out of my mouth. Was this a mortal sin?




“Without Thinking”, no it is not a “Mortal Sin”, but I do think it is a “Venial Sin”.
CHECK ME ON THAT!!! (I don’t know everything)
To use God’s name or any title given to God like “Lord” etc without reverence is taking his name in vain. (I THINK!)

What you did sounds accidental, I doubt it’s a great offense, especially since you’re checking.


Actually such can be “no sin” in the culpable sense. For it can be a completely inadvertent reaction. Though if it is a habit --one needs to work on such and lack of working on such can then involve sin.


Clearly, it’s a sin, as far as I know, but it’s probably venial.

St. John Bosco had a vision of hell, and he said 3 things get us there…bad friends, bad books (now could also be videos, internet, magazines), and bad habits!

I’ve seen people here on the forum say that they’ve successfully used rubberbands on their wrists which they snap every time they swear to break that habit.

Then, another way is to change it. Instead of…God …you would say “God bless it!”.

You would say…f…fudge.




Sounds to me like you were instinctively asking God what was wrong with your hand? This is not taking his name in vain. If you had said G d sob, because you hurt yourself, then that’s taking his name in vain. I see a HUGE difference, but I certainly could be wrong.


My son started saying that, and other curse words, and I asked him if he would say that if Jesus were standing right in front of him. He said, of course not. I said, “Well, guess what, Jesus IS standing right in front of, or beside you, 24/7/365. He never leaves your side.” I told him that every time he spouts out a curse word(s), apologize to God! Pretty soon, he realized that he was having to ask God for forgiveness quite often. Soon he used explatives less and less, and changed them to something other than the original word.

I also have a neighbor who has a 3 yr old daughter. She curses in front of her all the time. I finally asked her, if she could go into a court room or a doctor’s office and hold her tongue, why then, could she not have the same restraint in front of her daughter. I told her that it could be a problem later on if her daughter talked that way when she starts school. She said she didn’t even realize she was doing it so much, and thus started listening to her own words before they came out of her mouth.

Try saying complete sentences without any explatives (even darn & shoot) at all. It’s kind of hard because I’ve been working on that myself.

Sometimes it takes someone pointing it out to you, but luckily you have realized it yourself. Congratulations on that! The rubber band thing works well too, if you need corporal punishment in order to stop. :rotfl:


Mortal or venial, it was not showing proper respect, reverence, or love for God, and you realize that. So it was contrary to the Commandment.
Bring it to Confession - give it now in your understanding an importance equal to the importance of your love of God, and confess it as an important thing to be rid of. Let Jesus, through your Confessor, decide to say He forgives you and calls you to continue following with Him.

John Martin


Our sins have deep roots. I consider this just a reminder to pray always.


I would say, yes, it is taking God’s name in vain. However, it would not be a sin, if it was done unintentionally.
I think it is definitely wrong to take the name of God or the name of Jesus or the name of the Mother of God in vain. It could be a mortal sin, since it is one of the ten Commandments (IMHO).
What disturbs me about this is the general lack of concern on the part of Roman Catholics and other Christians about taking the Lord’s name in vain. Why aren’t people protesting these vulgar movies and plays where all sorts of filthy and blasphemous language is being used. I see that when someone offends Islam, the whole world stops and a war of sorts breaks out. But nothing happens when in American movies people offend Our Lord. Also, offensive to me are Roman Catholic priests, such as Father Andrew Greeley, who write novels with filthy and blasphemous expressions. For example, his characters sometimes exclaim - Jaysus - or the gd or the mf word, when angry or surprised. Now these types of exclamations are offensive to many Christians, and I don’t see where a Roman Catholic priest, Reverend Father Andrew Greeley, has any business offending other Christians with the filthy and blasphemous language in his novels.


It would really depend on the context I would say. There isn’t anything wrong with saying something like ‘Thank God it happened this way’. Or even saying ‘In God’s name, what did you do’. When I say that, I almost want to beseech God to tell me why that person did happen to do that (when it would be something really ‘stupid’). Would that be taking the Lord’s name in vain? I wouldn’t think so. In vain, to me, personally means to bring the Lord in a negative context.


(many of the 10 commandments admit “parvity” (smallness) of matter).

It can be noted if one looks to say moralists who liked in the past to make lots of distinctions --they would rather distinguish between blasphemy (and other grave offenses) and Profanity /disrespectful use of the Holy name in anger etc that is not blasphemy --not say out of contempt for God or directed at God… that such in itself --while certainly NOT to be done (we are Christians --we love and reverence the Holy Name of Jesus etc-as Paul says --let no evil talk come from your mouths) - is ordinarily venial.

Again let us praise and bless the Holy Name!

Praised be Jesus Christ of Nazareth --now and forever!


To answer your question, this all depends on what your intentions were at the moment.


I would say that anything truly done without thinking cannot be “willed” and thus would not, in and of itself, be a sin.

If it were me, I’d be bringing it to confession, but less as a sin of taking the Lord’s name in vain and more as a sin of speaking unthinkingly, which in turn caused me to (unintentionally) take the Lord’s name in vain. If that makes any sense.

And I used to curse like a sailor and routinely take God’s name in vain, I know how hard it can be to fix that habit. But with time and conditioning it can be done. I’ll pray for you as you walk that road.


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